Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ebates: A Reminder Before You Get to Your Hardcore Holiday Shopping

If you don't use Ebates, you should (if you shop online). It's free money and I like free money.

For more details, have a look at my post from last year right HERE. (The promotions are slightly different right now, but the gist and the setup are the same.)

So suppose you spend $500 this year for Christmas in online shopping and earn a measly 3% back (it's often more), well, then you'll earn $15 for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, except what you would have done anyway.

Want to try it? Use THIS LINK and then you and I both get free money when you make your first purchase.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Sweet Potato Waffles

I mean, just, yes. These are awesome. Like perfect fall food. Seems indulgent, but actually super healthy. Perfect texture. Easy to make and work with. Makes your house smell like autumnal heaven as they cook. And cheap, totally cheap. So good in every way.

I made these for my Secret Recipe Club recipe this month. I had A Day in the Life on the Farm--a blog written by Wendy who lives on a farm in a small town. Le sigh. I was looking for something homey and farmy for Thanksgiving, but then I saw these, and one day I needed a quick meal. So I made them. And fell madly in love. Madly. I'm still swooning over their awesomeness. You have to make them and eat them and love them.

Also, if you have leftovers, you can pop them in the toaster (they're fairly sturdy) and then they come out perfect all over again. You know what this means, right? You should make a million.

Sweet Potato Waffles
adapted from A Day in the Life on the Farm
makes 12-14
Prep and cook time: 30-40 minutes
Cost: $1.65
sweet potatoes: .50, buttermilk : .20, eggs: .40, butter: .25, flour: .10, other stuff: .20

2 sweet potatoes (on the larger side)
1/2 C buttermilk (or 1/2 Tbsp vinegar and 1/2 C milk, which is what I did since I had no buttermilk)
4 eggs
6 Tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Peel, cube, and boil your sweet potatoes until they're fork tender. Drain.

Put the sweet potatoes in a food processor (or blender if you don't have a food processor). Then add butter and process. Then add the buttermilk, then eggs, then cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Blend. Then add the salt, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Now you just cook the waffles according to your waffle makers instructions.

Note: I served them with this caramelized pear syrup that was also beyond awesome. I haven't written down proportions yet (coming soon...) because I just throw stuff in and don't measure, but if you'd like an idea of what I do, here you go: Peel and cut the pears. Melt butter in a skillet and then add pears, cooking until soft. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar. When it's cooking and bubbling and smells like sainthood, add a glug of cream and stir. Yeah, it's amazing. But it's not really sainthood...


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Pumpkin Alfredo with Gnocchi

Hello November. And happy election day. Whether you're elated about your choice for president, or entered your voting location feeling a little conflicted (like I did), I think it's time for some comfort food, don't you? Even better when that comfort food has a sneaky dose of Vitamin A folded into its creamy crevices. And you know what might make it even better. Fifteen minutes. Start to finish. Yeah yeah, you're welcome.

I like to make my own Alfredo and I'm going to tell you straight up that I favor a recipe that is a lot thinner than what most people have come to expect from their Alfredo (because it often uses thickeners to thicken it whereas I prefer to just stick with cream and cheese, if you please). That said, this is easy to thick up if that's your thing. You'll find instructions for both below.

Also, this could easily be served on regular old pasta, but at this time of year I always get a hankering for those thick doughy bites of gnocchi, so that's what I went with. I even found a pumpkin variety at Aldi. Perfect. And to top this off, mushrooms sauteed in butter. It was just the perfect fit, but if mushrooms embody everything that is childhood food angst for you, you can skip them. This is just fantastic on its own.

Pumpkin Alfredo with Gnocchi
Serves 4
Cook time: 15 minutes for everything
Cost: $5.25
gnocchi: 2.00, cream: 1.25, pumpkin: .10, butter: .40, Parmesan cheese: 1.00, mushrooms: .50

1 package gnocchi
1 2/3 C cream
3-4 Tbsp pumpkin puree
5 Tbsp butter
1 C Parmesan cheese
mushrooms, optional
salt to taste

Boil water, then cook gnocchi according to the package directions.

While the gnocchi is cooking, add butter and cream to a pot. Simmer it for several minutes. After 5-8 minutes it will reduce just a bit.

(While it's simmering, you can slice a few mushrooms, and saute them in butter with salt.)

After your cream has reduced, remove it from the heat. Whisk in the pumpkin, then add the Parmesan cheese and some generous sprinkles of salt (taste as you go to get the right amount). Whisk until it's smooth. Then drain your gnocchi and add it to this sauce.

Note: As stated, it will be a thinner sauce. If you must have it thicker, then while the butter/cream mixture is simmering, combine 1 tsp cornstarch and 2 tsp milk in a small cup. Pour that into your simmering cream, whisking as you go. It will thicken slightly. Then continue with the recipe by adding pumpkin, cheese, etc.

Top with sauteed mushrooms if desired.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Coconut Cream Brownies

Happy Halloween friends! I realize that I'm getting to this late, so now you're all probably passed out on the floor in a candy coma. So, uh, sorry about that. I should have gotten this to you before all the Halloween parties... Because it's pretty much like a Mounds Bar on steroids. But don't worry because there are still plenty of festivities coming up in the next few months and I think these would be a beautiful little addition for your Christmas cookie plate this year.

I actually made them for our book club. We read by Brandon Sanderson and so I made us some chalkling brownies. I don't have a great picture of those since it was night and I was rushing getting things ready for book club.

And then, between book club and my family (and, uh, my own snitching of these amazing brownies) I only had one lonely soldier left when I did get around to getting some decent pictures. At least he posed well for the camera.

This is a fancy-looking brownie, but pretty easy to make. You do need to have your regular brownies cooled first, so be prepared for that time-wise.

To make them, use THIS RECIPE for brownies.

Then THIS RECIPE for the coconut cream and ganache.

Now, go on and enjoy that sugar coma.


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